ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –On Sunday night, NFL fans will be treated to the 14th installment of Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady – the top two winningest quarterbacks among active NFL players.
Brady and Manning are also one and two on the list of most passing touchdowns in a season as Brady's 50-touchdown 2007 campaign bumped Manning's 2004 season from the top spot.
In their 13 previous meetings, Brady and the Patriots have won nine times, including last season in New England. Since that time, Manning and the Broncos have won 20 of 21 regular season games and will be a week removed from handing Kansas City its first loss of the season.
"I think the main reason to get amped is because of the fact that you know you have to play well because of the quarterback on the other side is a real good player," Executive Vice Preside of Football Operations John Elway said Tuesday. "I think that you always want to fare well against your rivals, but also knowing that when you're playing another quarterback, like in my case (Dan) Marino or (Joe) Montana, I knew I was going to have to play that well because you're playing a great quarterback."
Elway said that he only played against Marino twice in his career, but this being the 14th time that Manning and Brady have faced off doesn't cheapen the thrill – especially since it will be on Sunday Night Football.
The Patriots are 7-3 this season coming off a tough, four-point loss on Monday night to the Carolina Panthers, but are undefeated in Foxborough, Mass.
"They've done a tremendous job and they've had a lot of injuries and continue to adjust to it and keep winning football games," Elway said. "(Brady) is a battler -- he's a competitor that just figures out ways to win and so well have our hands full up there."
This matchup with the Patriots is sandwiched between two games against the AFC West-rival Chiefs, creating one of the toughest stretches in a schedule that Elway can remember.
"Our focus has been week-to-week and know that for us to get where we want to be as far as the playoff picture, we've got to look at it each week at a time," he said. "Foxborough is a tough place. It would be nice to be able to go up there and play well and try to get a win."